The water heater is one of the most indispensable parts of your home, providing safe hot water on demand whenever you need it. Most water heaters are traditional tank models, which are placed in an out-of-the way location of the home such as the basement or the garage, or even in closest built especially for them. Because of that, and because they normally do their jobs quietly and without fuss, it can be very hard to spot problems with the water heater until the damage is extensive.
Proper care and maintenance of your water heater is vital to stopping any damage before it gets too bad. Some of these can be accomplished with a maintenance session from a trained plumber, but some of it can be accomplished by the homeowner themselves with only a little training and preparation to work with. In particular, flushing your water heater out periodically can help prevent wear and tear and allow your water heater to perform as efficiently as possible.
WHY IS IT NECESSARY?
We don’t have a lot of problems with hard water in our area, since most of our water comes from surface sources that aren’t affected by hot water. Nevertheless, sediment can often build up in the tank of your water heater over time. That’s a serious concern. The sediment settles on the bottom of the water tank, forming a barrier between the burners and the water they need to heat up.
Not only does that force the water heater to expend more energy to heat the water — raising your bills in the process — but it places a lot of heat stress on the bottom of the tank. That can result in big problems as time goes on, including weakening the structure of the metal and eventually causing a rupture. Even before that, the added stress on the burners and other components raises the likelihood of a breakdown somewhere else in the system.
Periodically flushing out the tank is a great way to prevent that. It’s easy, it takes only a few minutes and it can spare your water heater a great deal of wear and tear. Here’s how to do it.
STEPS TO TAKE
- Turn off the gas, the thermostat and the water supply to your water heater.
- Turn on the hot water tap in a tub or shower: somewhere that can rapidly drain the hot water when it comes out. That will improve draining and keep a vacuum from forming.
- Connect a garden hose of similar devices to the water heater’s drain valve. put the other end in a bucket, a drain line, or somewhere similar that can hold the water drained from the tank.
- Open the release valve, then open the drain valve to start the flow of water.
- When the tank is about one-quarter full, turn the water on again to flush out the sediment at the bottom.
- When the sediment is gone, close the release valve, then close the drain valve and detach the hose.
- Allow the water tank to fill back up, then turn on the gas, electricity and thermostat.
For water heater service throughout Atlanta, GA, call the pros at Quick Action Plumbers!